The Wombats – Fix Yourself, Not the World (Album Review)

Fifteen years have passed since The Wombats had first danced their way to Indie Rock success with the sound of Joy Division. Perhaps nothing was more obvious than how they wore their badge of influence on their sleeves. And it paid off.

Formed in 2003, in Liverpool, England, by Matthew Murphy (lead vocals, guitar, keyboards), Tord Øverland Knudsen (bass, guitar, keyboards, backing vocals), and Dan Haggis (drums, percussion, keyboards, backing vocals), The Wombats have released five proper studio albums–from 2007’s A Guide to Love, Loss & Desperation to the latest, Fix Yourself, Not the World.

Arrived at the shops on January 14, 2022, via AWAL Records, Fix Yourself, Not the World contains all the fine ingredients that endeared The Wombats to enthusiasts of New Wave and Indie Rock music.

The Wombats’ fifth opens straightaway with the dancefloor staple “Flip Me Upside Down,” to be followed by the Psychedelic-tinged “This Car Drives All by Itself,” which starts dramatically then builds up into the same neat beat salad. And then there is the engagingly delicious Synthpop-savvy, Post-Punk stomper “If You Ever Leave, I’m Coming with You,” which will remind the initiated of songs like “Undercover Martyn” by Two Door Cinema Club, “An Honest Mistake” by The Bravery, and “Swings & Waterslides” by Viola Beach.

With “Ready for the High,” The Wombats then step onto the accelerator some more, exuding flickering pulses and crunchy guitar punches. The ensuing piano-led “Method to the Madness” is a change of mood and pace–Sophistipop/Neo-Romantic balladry. After this melodrama, Murphy, Knudsen, and Haggis return the listener to the center of the glittery discotheque with the angular and infectious “People Don’t Change People, Time Does”–another display of the band’s Morrissey-reminiscent lyricism.

Slightly funky and a dash of Disco, “Everything I Love Is Going to Die” is a surefire hit; an ear candy for its slinky guitar lines. Another Guitar Pop gem then follows in the form of “Work Is Easy, Life Is Hard”–a lovely throwback to baggy Britpop–echoing The Soup Dragons’ “Divine Thing,” Jesus Jones’s “International Bright Young Thing,” and Blur’s “Girls & Boys.”

With “Wildfire,” The Wombats seem channeling the Duran Duran in them–the Andy Taylor-esque guitars, the LeBon falsettos, and the chic and bouncy John Taylor bass lines! The head-bobbing moment smoothly extends to the next track, the electrifying “Don’t Poke the Bear.”

Second to the last song, “Worry” is yet another anthemic future classic. Finally, the ever playful and tuneful English band wraps up its wonderful new record with the short, starry, spectral “Fix Yourself, Then the World.”

In the still pandemic-burdened world, music remains a comfort for the spirits of those whose movements and emotions are in synchronicity with the pendulum of rhythm and melodies. For New Wavers and Indie Rockers, The Wombats place again themselves in the frontline of the genre.

So now, while you are still at it, treat yourself to a dose of The Wombats’ new powerhouse record! That is why Cryptic Rock gives Fix Yourself, Not the World 4 out of 5 stars.

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